This is one of a series of posts discussing the presenters at Tech Field Day 10, occurring 3rd – 5th February 2016 in Austin, Texas, at which I am an attending delegate.  See links at the end of this post to other presenting vendors.  Details of the event can be found on the Tech Field Day 10 page at techfieldday.com.

VMTurbo has presented at three previous Tech Field Day events (Virtualisation Field Days 3, 4 & 5), although I haven’t attended any of them.  So for me this will be a new company to meet with.  In a nutshell, VMTurbo manages application resources.  By this we mean virtual servers, networking, storage and all the infrastructure components that are used to deliver an application.  One way to describe it could be application-level quality of service.

The Need

Server virtualisation has been a great enabling technology.  It has allowed application development and deployment to move on at a far greater pace than could ever be achieved with physical servers – but it came at a price.  The benefits of flexibility introduces the risk of sprawl and the uncontrolled use of resources.  When it’s easy to spin up a VM, it’s easy to forget what it was used for, leave it lying around and not bother to track the uses with adequate documentation.  It is also possible to oversize the resources in the first place and create VMs with too much memory & storage and too many CPUs.

Fixing these kinds of problems is pretty much VIM (Virtual Infrastructure Management) 1.0.  As virtual environments expand however, managing both orphan and active resources becomes an activity that can’t be achieved manually.  These days, VMs have shorter lifetimes and with the introduction of containers (or even containers in VMs), their lifetime could be even shorter.  Load balancing and resource management is moving closer to real-time than ever before.  Think of it this way; imagine the road traffic in any large city.  Traffic is a very fluid system that needs two methods of management.  Decisions on how to route traffic have to be made in real-time to manage short-term issues like accidents and roadworks, failed traffic lights and so on.  At the same time, there’s a long term capacity trend that has to be also looked at.  This examines how traffic volume increases and changes, perhaps as feeder roads are widened.

We can see this analogy applied to the software defined data centre (SDDC).  As applications become more fluid, the workloads will change dynamically over time, perhaps from minute to minute to meet customer demand or as a result of application development or a failed server.  In addition, the overall workload will increase as business volumes increase, which requires planning for additional hardware purchases or the leveraging of cloud services.

VMTurbo

VMTurbo addresses the workload management issue by treating the problem as one of supply and demand.  Resources that become more scarce also become more expensive; in this way systems can be balanced.  The secret sauce is how this is achieved.  The founders of VMTurbo were previously involved in a product called SMARTS that was acquired by EMC.  I remember having presentations on this technology as it was developed from a networking to a storage focus and I think it was rolled into ECC/StorageScope/Ionix.  Since founding in 2009, the company has raised $75 million over four rounds, the D-round closing at the end of 2014.

At this point I’ll leave the discussion until Tech Field Day.  Tune in online at http://techfieldday.com/ to watch the event live.  The schedule will be posted on the dedicated Tech Field Day 10 page.  I will also be tracking posts from the event here at a special page covering the event.

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Disclaimer:  I was personally invited to attend Tech Field Day 10, with the event team covering my travel and accommodation costs.  However I was not compensated for my time.  I am not required to blog on any content; blog posts are not edited or reviewed by the presenters or Tech Field Day team before publication.  

Copyright (c) 2009-2016 – Chris M Evans, first published on https://blog.architecting.it, do not reproduce without permission.

Written by Chris Evans

With 30+ years in IT, Chris has worked on everything from mainframe to open platforms, Windows and more. During that time, he has focused on storage, developed software and even co-founded a music company in the late 1990s. These days it's all about analysis, advice and consultancy.